The popularity of the city’s solar rebate program, combined with tax incentives, forced its closure even before the fiscal year began, officials said, meaning property owners will have to wait until next year to apply.
John Joyce, who manages the Solar Support Program at Burbank Water and Power, said it was the first time the rebates had to be suspended since it began in 1999.
“It’s a good thing,” Joyce said. “We had a huge surge of applications.”
The surge was likely due to the combination of dropping costs for installing solar panels and a 30% federal tax credit that will remain available through 2016, Joyce said.
Joyce estimated the average cost to install solar panels is $21,000, with about $7,000 in rebates.
Coupled with a tax incentive, customers could get an additional $4,000 back, Joyce added.
That would mean an out-of-pocket cost of about $10,000, he said, noting it could take about 10 years to see that savings on the customer’s utility bill.